The Technological Centre for Plastics (Andaltec) is currently carrying out a joint project with the company Biobullet in order to develop projectiles manufactured in biodegradable plastic and charged with metallic components. These bullets will be very similar in size and weight to the regular metallic ones. Therefore, this innovative ammunition will be completely fit for use in regular weapons, which guarantees a problem-free replacement of regular bullets with these biodegradable ones.
Researchers from Andaltec are also working on the correct self-loading of the weapon when using this type of bullets. The final goal is the development of short-weapon 9mm projectiles, manufactured with a biodegradable polymeric matrix with metal-charged additives in order to achieve the ideal density requested by Biobullet. This project is intended to market projectiles for military training, in which the use of biodegradable plastic brings about two main advantages: on the one hand, this is a more sustainable product, as it decomposes and, hence, does not pollutes the training field. On the other hand, they are safer to use since the plastic bullets provoke lesser damages and would mostly avoid the severe wounds or fatal accidents that sometimes occur during military training.
“Andaltec is faced with a complex research labour, considering that all the customer’s needs must be satisfied as for compatibility between projectile and weapon regarding size, weight or operation temperature”, as María Ángeles Pancorbo, Head of this Project on behalf of the Technological Centre, states.
Andaltec is currently working on the definition of metal charge and biodegradable polymer definition, bullet design, percentage of added charge, characterisation of the proper material and part manufacture for validation. This project is not the first joint venture between the technological centre and Biobullet, since they previously worked together in the development of prototypes for cartridges composed of biodegradable plastics. Andaltec took also part in a successful R&D project to create biodegradable airsoft bullets. This is a more sustainable product which does not pollute or spoil the playing area where this sport is usually practiced.
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